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I am NOT obsessed with PM's post: Rahul

Last updated on: February 6, 2012 13:45 IST

I am NOT obsessed with PM's post: Rahul

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Rahul Gandhi on Monday claimed that he was not "obsessed" with becoming the prime minister but remained "committed to transforming Uttar Pradesh", where people have been "fooled" for the last 22 years by successive regimes.

At a rare press conference, a combative Rahul sharply criticised Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani on corruption in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab.

Answering questions on corruption, the Gandhi scion said when he proposed that the Lokpal be given Constitutional status, the opposition had laughed at it. But this would become a reality, he claimed.

Asked about his sister Priyanka's comment on Sunday that he was fit to be the prime minister, Rahul responded by saying that he was not "obsessed" with the post but was "obsessed with Uttar Pradesh", where he has been campaigning relentlessly during the assembly polls.

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Image: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi

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'I am not afraid of anyone'

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"All the political leaders in India, all the top ones, have an obsession with prime ministership. This is not Rahul Gandhi's obsession. I have another obsession. I want to correct the way we have been working in this state, I believe it is a monumental crime not to hear the voice of the people. I don't have any major strengths," he said.

"All I have is that some people in this country believe in me. Even if one per cent of the people in UP believe in us, that will be good enough for me," he said.

Rahul said the demonstration of black flags, shoes or even bullets would not deter him. "Main kisi se nahin darta (I am not afraid of anyone)," he said.

Making a strong pitch for a Constitutional status for the Lokpal, he blamed the opposition for disallowing the passage of the key legislation.

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'Let us make a Lokpal Bill which allows independence'

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Noting that there is a "beauty" in the design of the Election Commission which has Constitutional status, Rahul said, "let us make a Lokpal Bill along the same lines. Let us make a Lokpal Bill which allows independence, which gives independence and power to the Lokpal."

Attacking the opposition, he said, "Mr Advani and other opposition leaders laughed at me. I saw them with my own eyes sitting there and laughing. This idea is a fundamental, powerful idea of this country and they laughed. You ask them why they did not pass the Lokpal Bill."

Holding that the opposition leader described it as "Rahul's idea", he said it was "India's idea". The Congress leader asserted that it was going to happen whether the opposition liked it to happen.

Attacking Advani over his yatra, he said the BJP leader overlooked corruption in states ruled by his party.

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'Results for the Congress would be solid'

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"Whenever there has been a problem of corruption in the Congress party, any place, any time, we have taken action. We have put ministers in jail," he said.

He also alleged that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is currently fighting to stop the appointment of a Lokayukta in his state.

Rahul also exuded confidence that in these elections, the Congress would be revived in the state and the results for his party would be "solid".

"Results for the Congress would be solid. People are looking towards the Congress. Wherever I am going, people are saying that we were being befooled in the last 22 years," he said, stressing that his work would not be complete till the common people, farmers and labourers get their due respect.

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'We would have a coalition with the poor'

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On the issue of bringing back black money stashed away in foreign banks and the stand taken by yoga guru Ramdev, Gandhi, who has been shown black flags by some of his supporters in some parts of the state, retorted that he (Ramdev) is sending "four or five supporters of his with black flags thinking that Rahul would run away".

To questions on the Congress's strategy in case of a hung House, Rahul made it clear there would be no truck with any party as he has come here to "bring a change".

"The strategy is simple -- we would have a coalition with the poor and common people, not with any party," he said.

On the development of the state, he said in the broad sense it would be possible only when everybody was included in it, the voices of everyone was heard and referred to central schemes like MNREGS, Right to Food and Right to Education.

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'The state can be transformed'

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Asserting that there is a lot of potential in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul said he was, "100 per cent sure that the state can be transformed, the people and youth here have the energy to transform the state and all UP needs is someone who can hold its hand and say so".

He stressed that the development of the state was also essential for the growth of the country .

To a question on the division of state, he said it was a complicated issue and required experts' view.

"It concerns the future of crores of people and is a complicated issue. Mayawati ji decided on it in two minutes without detailed discussions. The view of experts needed to be taken about it," he said.

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Image: A map of Uttar Pradesh


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